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If you want more spice than sugar with your Christmas movies, head over to VH1 for All I Didn’t Want for Christmas starring Kel Mitchell and Gabourey Sidibe.

The hilarious Groundhog Day meets It’s a Wonderful Life Christmas film follows aspiring radio host Emily Harris (Sidibe) who is passed over for her dream job – which is given to her rival. Angry and annoyed she furiously drunk-writes a fiery letter to Santa – mockingly, but it actually ends up at the North Pole.

Along the lines of It’s a Wonderful Life, Emily is unwittingly matched with Wolf the elf (Mitchell) whose level of sarcasm rivals what Emily is delivering. During an interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Mitchell said he and Sidibe improvised a good portion of the jokes in the film.

Kel Mitchell shares what he loved about ‘All I Didn’t Want for Christmas’

Mitchell said the script drew him to the project. “It was such a great concept, like, sending a mean Christmas list to Santa and it all comes true!” he laughed. “And then you’ve got this elf that doesn’t want to do his job either. It was such a great script.”

Kel Mitchell from 'All I Didn't Want for Christmas' at the People's Choice Awards
Kel Mitchell | Chris Polk/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty Images

“And it’s a different type of Christmas movie. That’s why I was intrigued by it,” he said. “And I love hearing people say how they enjoyed it, that’s what we want.”

The VH1 film is Kel Mitchell and Gabourey Sidibe’s first time working together

He also loved working with Sidibe and Loretta Devine. “It was just so good,” he said about the film. “I mean, to work with Gabby. We know her for drama, but as far as a comedian, she is so funny, we laughed on set. I really feel like we need to drop the blooper reel because it was so much improv and us cracking up. And then working with Loretta Devine as well. I had to pinch myself a lot of times. It’s like yo, I’m working with a legend!”

Mitchell and Sidibe’s comedic chemistry is so natural, which is why Mitchell said some people are shocked to learn that this was their first film together.

“First time working with Gabby, which was shocking to a lot of people, because they’re like, yo, we need more of that!” he said. “So I feel like we’re going to have to do more movies together.”

Many jokes in ‘All I Didn’t Want for Christmas’ were improvised

Mitchell also loved how director Brittany Scott Smith encouraged Mitchell and Sidibe to go off-script. “We would do takes where it was the way it was written. But then Brittany, our director, she knows that we like to improv. Gabby definitely loves to improv. So she was like, ‘OK, you guys just go now. Just go. Here’s the situation. We’ll see what happens.’ Like, we would just rock it out and it was so much fun.”


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In an effort to possibly “trick” Santa into granting back her old life, Emily furiously writes more letters to Santa in a hilarious attempt to game the system. Mitchell said a lot of that footage came directly from Sidibe.

“I had a little callback in the scene where she’s writing to Santa again, another list and she’s like pissed off, and all of that was just all over the place,” Mitchell laughed. “Which was fun because it made it feel more real, like we knew what we were doing. And she knew like, ‘OK, I’m really upset with Santa. Let me just go off, you know?’ So we have to accept that.”

Kel Mitchell is in the Christmas spirit with World Vision

Mitchell is currently getting into the holiday spirit through his humanitarian work for World Vision as a celebrity ambassador. 

“Around the holidays, it’s a great time to give and show love to others,” he said. “And that’s why I hooked up with World Vision. They have a wonderful gift catalog. I love World Vision, because I’ve been in the family entertainment business for years, and it’s important to them to help out families, help out families in need,” he said. “Put a smile on a kid’s face, and take away hunger as well. And they’re doing this in 100 different countries and also within the U.S. as well. And you can donate by getting on the gift catalog and picking one of the gifts that can help a family and change their lives forever, overseas or right here in the U.S.”

All I Didn’t Want for Christmas is currently on VH1 On Demand.